“IT’ll be hard, but life moves fast – we’ll see each other again. I know that. I can feel that. Just like I can feel how much you care for me and how much I love you.”
These words may sound like a sad fairy-tale farewell between lovers, but in football context, this is the heart-breaking adieu between sensational striker Thabiso Kutumela of National First Division champions Baroka FC.
Kutumela leaves Bakgaga Ba-Mphahlele to the Buccaneers.
News of the Soweto giants securing the signature of the 22-year-old striker was splashed all over the newspaper back pages earlier in February.
However, Kutumela only confirmed the move on SportAt10 on SABC 1 that he will be joining Pirates in the 2016-2017 campaign.
Pressed to reveal his move to Pirates, he responded with a wry smile, confirming that “it is true, I am leaving Baroka. I am going to play for Pirates next season.”
Kutumela confirmed this in the presence of Baroka coach Kgoloko Thobejane during a studio interview.
Thobejane, meanwhile, said while he is happy with the current squad, his options are still wide open for further shopping.
Kutumela finished at the summit of the NFD’s scorers’ chart with 17 goals as he helped to secure automatic promotion to the Absa Premiership for Baroka on the final day of the season.
Erstwhile Pirates striker Bruce Ramokgadi says the Buccaneers need a nippy striker like Kutumela to do the job Kermit Erasmus did for the club before his departure to French Ligue 1 side Rennes.
Ramokgadi says the Sea Robbers need a mobile striker to accommodate the target men leading the line in attack.
With Kutumela now relocating to Mayfair, Ramokgadi feels Bucs can do with a player of his mould.
“Pirates need a nippy striker, somebody like Thabiso. I think he will make a big difference to accommodate the big strikers because Pirates only have big strikers right now,” says Ramokgadi.
Kutumela is an excellent, sensational, unique player.
He is astoundingly creative, has amazing individual skill and is able to constantly put his rivals at unease.
A natural right footer, he is stunningly versatile, and can play either in the middle or on whichever of the wings required, although it is out on the right that he feels most comfortable.
He may not be very tall, but his speed and physique enable him to cope with even the toughest of defenders.
Kutumela is surprisingly strong, and can hold on to the ball in style, as if it were stuck to his feet.
His cold blood and ability to take on responsibilities are other virtues that make Kutumela one of the best footballers on the domestic football scene.